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Observers Value President Jokowi’s Commitment to Anticipating Food Price Volatility

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Jakarta – Indonesian Political Economy Association (AEPI) Agricultural Observer Khudori revealed that the Government so far has a strong commitment to anticipating fluctuations in food prices caused by geopolitical changes and the El Nino phenomenon.

“Since Covid-19, the government has been quite intense and focused on the poor and those vulnerable to poverty through various assistance and social safety nets,” said Khudori.

“Including what has been done since last year, when the price of rice was high, the government carried out market operations and social assistance which has continued until this year,” he added.

The AEPI agricultural observer revealed that several government policies in anticipating food price fluctuations were relatively successful in society. He gave an example of one policy that was considered successful was rice assistance.

According to him, fluctuations in rice prices began to occur from August 2022 to March 2023. The government then moved quickly to distribute rice aid and was able to restrain the price increase.

“When rice assistance was no longer provided, namely July-August, rice prices were high again,” he said.

Furthermore, he emphasized that the Government’s policy in anticipating food price fluctuations is very oriented towards lower society.

This policy, added Khudori, is understandable because rising food prices will disrupt people’s purchasing power.

“If the price of rice is high, their purchasing power will be disrupted and even people who are only a few inches above the poverty line could fall into poverty.” he explained.

Not only that, the Government is also actively securing rice reserves to anticipate potential crop failure. One way is to open the tap for rice imports.

He also hopes that the Government can anticipate a number of moments that can increase rice consumption, such as during the election.

“Apart from that, there is Ramadhan and the momentum of Eid al-Fitr is welcomed in April and that is also momentum,” he explained.

Separately, the Chair of the West Papua Province Love NKRI Movement, Napoleon Fakdawer, assessed that President Jokowi’s policy to realize food sovereignty was correct.

“Building food security in Papua is not as easy as turning over the palm of your hand because there are a number of challenges that lie ahead,” he said.

Food sovereignty, said Napoleon, is one of the national development goals that must be realized. Therefore, cooperation between government, society and the private sector is needed.

“Not only the government, society also plays an important role in maintaining food sovereignty in Indonesia.” Napoleon explained

He also invited the public to support local farmers so that they could be more empowered.

“The public can support local farmers by purchasing products from local farmers,” he concluded.

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